1. Have him watch Business of Being Born
2. Have him read any or all of the following:
*"You want to give birth where?"
, an essay by a dad who goes from homebirth critic to supporter
*Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America
, recent, large scale professional study showing that "Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States."
*Sept. 2009 Canadian study showing safety rates of homebirth
3. Have him sit down and talk to a midwife. They're very used to dealing with scared spouses.
So basically, for me, it comes down to looking at the actual evidence, at being evidence-based
. At this point your husband is not being evidence-based, he's operating off of irrational gut fears. Understandable, based out of love for you, but still irrational.
A few key points to make:
--Numerous large scale studies have shown that for low risk pregnancies attended by a trained midwife with appropriate procedures in place in case of transfer, homebirth is as least as safe as hospital birth, with far fewer harmful interventions and greater reported maternal satisfaction with the birth experience.
--The vast majority of health concerns that arise in pregnancy make themselves known well before labor begins. If your pregnancy becomes high risk, you would transfer into appropriate hospital care.
--The vast majority of transfers during labor are not ambulance emergencies. If you need to transfer, you typically do it in your own car and at your own pace.
--In the very rare event of a true catastrophic emergency, the midwife would call the hospital and have them prepare the operating room. In many cases, even if you were in the hospital, it would still take several minutes from "decision to incision" to get the operating room ready.
--Midwives aren't pagan healers who rely on crystals and herbs. They're highly trained medical professionals. They carry Pitocin in case of hemmorage, oxygen tanks in case of breathing trouble, fetal monitoring equipment, suturing equipment in case of tears, etc. They're experts in birth.
--It's not just about mortality, which is very rare, it's also about morbidity, which is very common. In a hospital birth, you are at risk of a number of harmful interventions. Epesiotemies are very common in hospitals and can be very problematic in the healing process. C-sections occur in one-third of hospital birth, and even in very conservative estimates, at least half of those are not necessary. Even if you write a birth plan saying you want a natural birth, as you've already found out, the hospital may stack the odds against you having that natural birth.
--Birth is inherently risky. There are babies who die in homebirths who may have lived in a hospital birth; there are babies who die in hospital births who may have lived in homebirths, and there are several mothers and babies who die every year in car wrecks on their way to the hospital. Life is risky, and you can't control all those risks -- you can just make good, evidence based decisions based on the best information you have available.
--This isn't about safety or health, but birth can be an incredible, transformative experience. In my experience of years of listening to dialogue about birth, many women cherish their homebirths in a way that you often don't see with hospital births. It's very similar to the difference between a hospital death and a home hospice death. There's often a peace and dignity in a homebirth that is possible but harder to achieve in a hospital birth.
Anyway, those are just some talking points. Good luck getting the birth you deserve.